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Author's Chapter Notes:
Not the first time I've approached this subject but,in a whole new way this time. Hope you like it.
Jimmy recalled the first time they ever met. He had been running an errand for Doctor Mallard and had bumped into her at the intersection of two corridors of the main NCIS building.

She used to do that a lot he remembered. Bump into people. But he hadn't minded on the occasion of their first meeting. Unlike some other people he could mention.

He remembered how tiny she was. And he could never think of anyone he knew of who was shorter than she'd been. At least no one who worked for the Agency.

"I am so sorry" she said, apologetically. Her first ever words spoken to him.
His first in response being, "Don't be. I mean it's OK".

She looked at him closely and asked, "I guess by the way you're dressed you must have something to do with Doctor Mallard?"

"That's right. I'm his assistant, Jimmy Palmer." He held out his hand and she took it.

"Michelle. Michelle Lee."

"You're new right?" Jimmy asked.

"Yeah. This is my first week on the job. I've been assigned to Tony DiNozzo's team. You know him?"

Oh yeah. We're like, real close."

"Close enough that he'll bring you back something special from his Berlin trip?" she asked.


"He's being sent on special assignment. One week. Director Shepherd's orders. How long do you suppose it'll be before I get sent on special missions like that?"

"Who can say?" he replied. Suddenly imagining her dressed like one of those maids you might find in a Bier Keller!

There was something about this girl. He couldn't quite put his finger on what it was, but it felt almost as if destiny was manipulating his emotions and, from the faintest glint of something he imagined he could see in her eyes, she might even be thinking similar thoughts.

But that was then, and this was now.

Jimmy shivered. Was it from the cold of that November night or something else, as he stared down at the face of his dead ex girlfriend.

She was secure in a body bag all black and shiny. Two guys were about to zip it up. He had to say something and quick. "Hold on. There's something I have to do."

He approached her and reached out with his hand and gently closed her still open eyes. Hoping that no one had noticed the redness in his eyes.

"OK guys, I'm done."

Gibbs was standing close by. Jimmy noticed his finger in a splint. He'd heard from somebody that Gibbs had been wounded in the exchange of fire with Bankston. The kidnapper, Blackmailer. The reason she was gone.

Gibbs noticed him standing there. He seemed almost apologetic. "Palmer."

"For the best,right?"

Gibbs could only nod in reply.

They were going to load her in the back of the emergency vehicle where Bankston's corpse was already contained.

Gibbs raised his hand. "Hold up."

They hesitated.

"I don't want her riding in back with him."

He may have been addressing them. But he was looking straight at Jimmy.

Jimmy smiled, nodded and walked slowly away.
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